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'Most fun part of golf' on display at local golf course this weekend

'You sometimes see players who don't necessarily golf very well, but can hit the ball a long way,' said organizer of long drive championship
long drive
Cody Billinghurst, from Blind River, Ont., won today's Canadian Long Drive Conference and championship with a drive of 366 yards.

The Canadian Long Drive Conference and Championship took place this weekend at Tangle Creek Golf Course and a former five-time champion sees the game being on the upswing. 

The two-day event saw golfers of all skill levels and hitters from age seven to 60 and over.

Long drive is a sport where you hit your golf drive as far as possible. Each hitter has two minutes to drive six balls and only the longest drive inside the grid is measured. 

Tour commissioner and five-time Canadian ILDC champion Fareen "Far" Samji said more than 60 competitors attended the weekend, in all divisions.

“We had a 13-year-old girl who hit the ball 216 yards and our longest ball of the day was 360 yards from one of the guys. It was just incredible,” said Samji. 

Samji, who had a personal best of 334 yards in her career, said when she was on the circuit in long ball, there were no competitions in Canada, forcing her to tour the U.S.

"We have never had an amateur circuit that helps build the sport at the ground level," says Samji. "Amateer Long Drive Canada (ALDC) is trying to make the sport  accessible to anyone in the country who drives the ball far and wants a chance to have some fun competition." 

This year, ALDC held six events in Alberta and Ontario as a series of qualifiers for every age group by gender.

Samji says “today was the culmination of an inaugural season in the grassroots push for the sport nationally," adding you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the sport of long drive, but she does see many golfers come to the sport.

“You sometimes see players who don't necessarily golf very well, but can hit the ball a long way,” says Samji. “The most fun part of golf is when Happy Gilmore hits it as hard as you can.”

This was the final event of the season and the competition starts up again in February and Samji assured any local hitters that “Tangle Creek will absolutely be another stop on the tour.”

For more information, head the ALDC website.

Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based in Barrie
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